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Curriculum Review at KS3: Some common issues.

Over the last couple of years I have had the great privilege of working with several schools on the process of curriculum review.   It’s such an enlightening process for all concerned – asking questions about what should be taught, why things should be taught, what absolutely must be kept in, what gets squeezed out … Continue reading

A glossary of terms to help us discuss learning.

Increasingly I find that there’s a whole language that teachers would benefit from sharing so that, when we’re talking about learning, we are talking about the same things.   The list could be very long – and I’m happy to add to this over time – but how about this for a start: (*Recency and … Continue reading

How teacher behaviours during CPD echo student behaviours during lessons.

In my job I do lots of training sessions with groups of teachers.  Sometimes it’s a small group, sometimes a classroom-full; sometimes a giant hall or lecture theatre.  I’m fascinated by the ways teachers’ behaviours provide a reference point to illustrate student behaviours and responses during our lessons.   I often make the point that students … Continue reading

Great CPD. Poor CPD. What are the signs?

When I visit schools in my consultancy work or teacher-trainer role, I usually pick up on signals that indicate to me something about the school’s attitude to professional learning. Sometimes I’m blown away by the energy and commitment to it and I feel my input has a chance of feeding into something with impact; sometimes … Continue reading

From “I’ve done it” to “I’ve learned it”. Terminate the tyranny of the task.

If you go into lessons as an observer, it’s pretty standard to sit alongside a student and to engage in a short discussion about their work.  I might say ‘hello, tell me what you’re doing this lesson’.  The normal response is ‘I’m doing this sheet’ – as the student points to the worksheet task in … Continue reading

Learning Rainforest as CPD. Values + Experience + Evidence = Wisdom!

Over the last few months I’ve come across a range of schools that have used ideas and structures in The Learning Rainforest as a direct driver of their CPD.  This has happened without input from me, beyond writing the book; it’s an approach they’ve taken themselves and then told me about afterwards.   When I … Continue reading

The great gift of knowledge and the joy of passing it on.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting Clare Sealy’s lovely school, St Matthias, tucked in just off Brick Lane.  I had the best time.  When I arrived, she was about to take the daily assembly, promoting one of their core values ‘awe and wonder’.  To do this Clare had chosen to celebrate the ‘awe and … Continue reading

Engineering Success. A positive alternative to generic mindset messaging

In general I find that there is still far too much emphasis in schools on the generic language of growth mindset, the learning pit, resilience, ‘learning to learn’ and broad-brush life-goal motivation.  This has its place at the level of a broad ethos in a school. It’s all part of creating the positive ‘feels’ we … Continue reading

Riding the Rosenshine Wave.

Well. What a week it’s been.  As I write this I’m seeing that my new Rosenshine’s Principles in Action booklet is still in the top 50 of all books on Amazon and I’m stunned – as I have been all week.   This post is simply a way to capture the moment because, for sure, … Continue reading

Timeline Controversies

Gosh – it’s been an acrimonious week on my twitter timeline.  Mostly my fault.  I’ve had to mute a lot of conversations just because I’d had enough.  I’ve blocked a few rude people too.  That’s my policy I’m afraid: if I don’t know you or can’t tell who you are and you’re just rude – addressing comments to others … Continue reading

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